Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) was brought down by a spectator with 45 kilometres remaining in the opening stage of the Tour de France, crashing into the midst of the peloton and bringing down a large proportion of the main bunch.
A spectator, carrying a sign that read 'Allez Opi, Omi', which translates to 'Go Grandpa, Grandma' was faced the wrong way and carried a sign that jutted out onto the road.
Martin was on the side of the peloton as the bunch filled up the entire width of the roadway, and had nowhere to go and could only brace as he struck the spectator's arm and sign, being brought down hard and causing a domino effect that brought down many riders.
“I saw the lady, I saw the sign but at the last moment she turned the sign into the road so for me there was no time to react,” Martin said. “The move was pretty unexpected. I still can't understand how people can do things like that. We're here to race our bikes; it's not a circus.”
Martin was pictured during the race with blood streaming from multiple cuts, but surprisingly the big German reported no long-term issues from the dramatic fall.
“Actually I don't feel too bad," said Martin. "The night was okay. I have no pain now on the bike. So I have to see from day-to-day but I hope that I can recover."
Martin being brought down was the catalyst for a lot of his Jumbo-Visma teammates also falling, with team leader Primoz Roglic falling but recovering to finish well on the stage, taking third on the day.
"The mechanics had a long night," said Martin. "There were a lot of bikes that were completely broken. The doctors had a lot of things to do too and in the next days with changing bandages. It's not a nice start to the Tour de France but we get used to it.”